DAMWON Gaming’s Nuguri on playing blind pick Kayle top: “I think I’ve achieved the dream of all top laners today, shaking the enemy team by splitpushing”

Nuguri is the sole MVP in today's match against Gen.G Esports. Image Source: Riot Korea

DAMWON Gaming has defeated Gen.G Esports to start off week 10 of the LCK Spring split. With playoffs secured, DAMWON played more methodically than ever, playing around their playmaking top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon to keep the pressure on. Despite Gen.G’s best attempts, with Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk on his signature Ezreal, it was to no avail as DAMWON took the series with a clean 2-0.

Riot Korea interviewed Nuguri following the match.

DAMWON has achieved their tenth win of the season. We will be meeting with today’s MVP, Nuguri. Hello Nuguri!

Nuguri: Hello!

It has been a while since we saw you on this stage, and it’s the first time you received a solo MVP. How do you feel?

Nuguri: It felt really good to receive solo MVP, and it was quite exciting to play such a fun match against Gen.G today, given it has been a while since I played on stage.

You play with such a serious expression on stage, but you must be quite hyped today.

Nuguri: There’s the fact that early game worked out great for us, and the game overall, well,  I think I’ve achieved the dream of all top laners today, shaking the enemy team with splitpushing.

Last week, with Sandbox Gaming defeating Hanwha Life Esports, DAMWON Gaming was able to secure playoffs. Were you watching the game at the time?

Nuguri: During a period where I thought I was playing badly, I decided to go into training while Flame played instead of me. By playing Solo Q, I tried to regain my senses while our coaching staff watched the match instead. I believe they told us the results afterward.

Today you faced CuVee’s Neeko with Ryze today. However, instead of Phase Rush or Aftershock, you decided to pick Arcane Comet as your rune of choice. Can you tell me why?

Nuguri: I tried out different runes, but I thought Comet was a good choice and went for it. I think both runes have their advantages, Phase Rush is good for utility, while Comet is better for damage. I picked the latter for a strong laning phase.

In the first game, you were fed enough to one-shot Ruler, thanks to your damage-centric build. Were you focusing on just damage on Ryze?

Nuguri: I observed that my opponents were building magic resist, and responded accordingly. I saw that tanky Ryze is also trending, which I think is also decent right now.

You are known to get ganked a lot in the top lane. However,  the first game was a quieter match today on the top side. Was it more comfortable for you in the laning phase?

Nuguri: Yes it was. I think Canyon covered for me quite well during the laning phase.

Top lane Kayle was picked in the second game for the first time in 5 years.

Nuguri: Really?

Yes, and with Kayle garnering attention, there were thoughts to whether you would pick it. It was a debut that matched the hype. What inspired you to play it?

Nuguri: Kayle is really hot in Ranked right now, with a high win rate as well as being fun to play. After playing a bunch of stuff, I came to the conclusion that Kayle is actually quite alright and decided to bring it out [today’s match].

However, Solo Q is a very different environment from competitive play. What areas did you have to improvise in order to bring it out in competitive play?

Nuguri: Kayle ascends at 6/11/16, and in Solo Q, the game tends to blow up before she reaches level 16. However, in competitive, you can say “wait for late game” since you can trust your teammates.

Before the promised level 16, we saw that you were doing quite well in the laning phase. How were you able to do that?

Nuguri: Canyon played aggressively around topside during the early game, which I benefitted from. Also, I was quite lucky to get an early Elixir of Skill, allowing me to ascend earlier.

What do you think about the Aatrox matchup for Kayle?

Nuguri: Aatrox will be trying to ruin her laning phase, while Kayle will have to try and hold on.

In the second game, we saw your teammates head to Baron, while you went for Gen.G’s base. There were a few moments where DAMWON lost fights without you. Weren’t there any worries when the decision was made?

Nuguri: When we gathered in the mid lane and fought, we didn’t think it was working out, so we decided to pressure through sidelanes.

Did you have faith in your teammates to win the fight [at Baron]?

Nuguri: To be honest, no. I was hoping they would steal Baron, or stop the recalls. However, when they won that fight, I was a bit upset. When I was with them, we would lose fights, but when I was pushing sidelanes, they won fights by themselves.

Do you have any words for the fans?

Nuguri: It has been a while since I got to play, and I’m glad I was able to get the solo MVP interview today after playing a fun match. Thank you to those who have supported me all this time.

Your last match will be against KT Rolster, where you would like to end the split on a high note and start preparing for playoffs. Any words going into it?

Nuguri: Going against KT in our last match, we will make sure to stay on the edge, practice hard, and show good performance on stage. Thank you!


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